Historical period pieces don’t usually generate franchises, so the idea of a sequel to 1998’s Oscar-nominated "Elizabeth" was unusual in Hollywood.
"I just said no to ‘Elizabeth‘ because I thought I’ve done it, I don’t need to do it again," Blanchett said. "But we had one great conversation, he and Geoffrey [Rush] and I when I suddenly saw it as being something about part of the aging process and taking her to a different level. He wanted to make a film about immortality. So when he talks about it in those broad sweeps, and also a film about holy war, which I thought was very timely."
The idea of a reunion, and adding some new hunks into the mix helped the sales pitch. "When he talked about it from that perspective and then he said Clive Owen‘s going to do it and Geoffrey’s going to do it again, I just went, ‘Oh, I’m just churlish if I say no to it.’ So I couldn’t refuse."
Blanchett and Kapur remain close since making the first film together, so whether another "Elizabeth" or something else, they were bound to collaborate again. "Shekhar and I all during the first one were talking about trying to find something else to do together. We’re good friends and we’ve stayed in contact, so he’s a man of 1000 ideas."